Home Pensacola BTS with Elli: Pensacola Beach Glow Paddle

BTS with Elli: Pensacola Beach Glow Paddle

Behind The Scenes for anyone still trying to figure out what the BTS is all about.


Don’t feel bad, my co-editors were equally as perplexed when I told them I wanted to start doing BTS videos to highlight local businesses and experiences in Pensacola. “You want to BTS what? Is that NSFW?” Not safe for work.

Okay enough with the acronyms and back to my first Behind the Scenes experience with Glow Paddle on Pensacola Beach.

Located across from Margaritaville (which recently changed names to The Pensacola Beach Resort) we’ve all driven past it, we all have seen the signs for it, but who has actually done it? Most locals drive by and immediately think ‘tourist trap’. I did anyway.

But I am here to share that it is more than just an activity for tourists. All you need to be is a Pensacola Beach lover to enjoy Glow Paddle.

Mikey (my boyfriend, my personal photographer, my partner in crime) and I arrived at 7:15 p.m. for the 7:30 session — we wanted to catch some of the sunset from the water and still get the experience of the glowing lights towards the end of our paddle. It’s $59 for a 45-minute session on a two-person, clear-bottom kayak. Insider tip — I was keen on sharing a kayak so I could offload the paddling to Mikey and just sit back and relax.

When you arrive in the parking lot the music is already bumping and they do a great job of setting the mood for your nighttime paddle. If I am being honest, I am usually in bed by 8:30 p.m. so the music was a nice touch.

The Glow Paddle team was excited to see us there and gave us some glow sticks for the ride. They have glow paint available for purchase for anyone really pushing for the perfect Instagram pic. If you arrive early, there’s cornhole, Jenga, picnic tables and a cute background for photos to take advantage of before heading down the dock.

At the end of the dock the Glow Paddle team gives a quick safety tutorial, you can grab a life jacket and then pick your kayak. The team gives you a push and you’re on your way. Watching the sunset from the water already elevates any sunset.

But watching the sun go down on the water from Little Sabine might be the most perfect place on the beach to take in our favorite setting star.

As we paddled through Little Sabine, we saw pelicans and seagull silhouettes as they flew against the sky, admired the beautiful homes and boats, and appreciated some silence and solitude.  Once it was dark, we cracked our glow sticks in true highschool cosmic bowling fashion and enjoyed inspecting the bottom of the bay. Many areas of Little Sabine are super shallow (3-4 feet) so it’s easy to see tiny crabs and nighttime creatures scurrying across the bottom.

When our 45 minutes had elapsed, Mikey and I paddled back to the dock where the Paddle Glow team pulled our kayaks on shore and showed us to our shoes. I did not wear a swimsuit because it was a little chilly that evening, so my leggings were somewhat  damp when we stood up just from water that had dripped off the paddles. If I could do one thing different, I would have brought an extra pair of pants and left them in the car.

Whether you’re visiting, a local, a local with visitors, I would recommend Glow Paddle. It’s different, it’s nostalgic and it involves being outdoors in nature. Overall, a 10/10 experience, wet bum and all.

Find Elli’s video review of this experience on The Local Pulse’s Instagram and Facebook pages.

*BTS with Elli is a fun, informative, positive and genuine review of all things in Pensacola for curious and inquiring minds. She enjoys promoting small businesses and experiences along the Gulf Coast through behind the scene looks and first-hand experiences.

Elli is originally from St. Louis, Missouri, but has lived in Pensacola for the last 6 years and spent her summers here for as long as she can remember. She loves to write because it allows her to connect with herself and other people. Her passion for new experiences, local businesses and discovering the undiscovered lead her to start this column. She earned a degree in Journalism, Advertising and Strategic Communications and a Minor in Spanish from the Missouri — Columbia (Mizzou). Outside of The Local Pulse, she’s consumed by her wanderlust, her two doodles and being good to herself and others.